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My HTPC Plex Media Server Build


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#1
Danny Olsson

Danny Olsson

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First I wanted to cut cable and go internet only, and then burn my music and DVD library so I can access it anywhere.  Work sends me out of town semi regularly for weeks at a time,  this way I only need WIFi at the hotel and my laptop.   

 

I used an old HP Intel Core i3-2120 Processor PC I had replaced and decided to use it as a Plex media server.  It was a machine that wouldn't allow any upgrades, so I was stuck with what it was and came with.  It was upgraded to windows 10 but had weird quirks.  I had added an external 4TB My Book drive in addition to the 1tb it came with.  But it wouldn't let me stream and burn and do more than a couple things at one time without stopping to a slow crawl.

 

So when I started to research what I wanted, I first went to to plex and used their recommendations was on what roughly the CPU should be.

 

https://support.plex...-for-my-Server-

Using the http://cpubenchmark.net/ my HP had a benchmark of 3875 and in using the machine, 2 people couldn't stream at one time reliably at 640x480.  If I had wiped the computer and did a fresh install and put on just the few programs I needed I probably would have had better results.

 

I wanted a PC that would fit in with my Audio receiver under the TV and didn't look like a standard PC.

 

The parts I chose are the -

I wanted Intel, 6Gbs SATA., PCI Express x16 slot, HDMI port and Micro ATX size to fit the type of case I had in mind.

Motherboard-

Gigabyte LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Micro ATX DDR3 1600 Motherboards GA-B85M-DS3H-A

 

For the CPU I went with the 

Intel Core i5-4460 LGA 1150 CPU with a 6620 passmark. I had a few options, but looking at different CPUs, in a lot I would only gain maybe 1000 in the benchmark but the expense went up over $100 in cost of the CPU. 

 

Since Plex is more CPU intensive, for memory I went with -

Kingston HyperX FURY 4GB 1600MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM 

 

So next I went with a SSD and Windows 10

Kingston Digital 120GB SSDNow V300 SATA 3 2.5 Solid State Drive.   I only installed the Windows on this, the start up time is seconds now!

 

For storage of Plex, my ripping software and Playon I used a 1 TB drive-

WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD10EZEX

 

The case I went for the 

Thermaltake Urban SD1 Micro Case CA-1A9-00S1NN-00 Black with Antec VP-450 Power Supply.

 

The case is really cool and it let me use an extra Ati Radeon hd 7700 xfx graphics card I already had.  I then purchased a couple used DVD drives for $10 each from my local PC store.

Cost was about $650 plus what I already had on hand.

 

I have a Sony Str-DH750 receiver for my surround and it allows HDMI inputs from my graphics card.  Since this is in my living room, I didn't want a normal PC keyboard/mouse and I had been using a Rii mini X1 2.4G wireless keyboard with touchpad which has been great.   One of the things I didn't do was add a WiFi / Bluetooth card to the PC so for the keypad it uses a USB bluetooth adapter.   The PC is connected by a cable to my network.

 

I also reused my external 4tb My book and an external LG BluRay player I got for my laptop.  I'm about to add another 4tb drive to this.

 

Testing, I've had 2 friends stream, while I've been watching a movie and ripping two movies at the same time.  None of us had any problems watching at 720x480.  I have a few blurays but have only added a few at HD quality yet, so I don't know how mulitple people streaming them will do yet.  

 

Where I'm at now is a library with 11000 songs and audiobooks, 1500 movies and 3000 TV episodes.  I'm about a 3rd of the way through my TV shows and I really don't know how many I have left.  When I get through, I plan on reripping my movies at the highest quality and sound, now that I can watch and store them with ease.

 

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#2
terry1966

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very nice. :thumbsup:

 

last htpc i built (for daughter.) skylake system had a quad hd tuner, 250gb m2 os drive and 4TB storage and used this case :- http://www.amazon.co...1_t2_B004HE2YZE

 

was perfect for her but i want a bit more space in mine for a dedicated graphics card, was thinking of this case http://www.amazon.co...1_t2_B00DBUMRBGbut may have to re-think that now i've seen your choice of case.

 

what's the noise like with those smaller fans? and what sort of temps do you get when encoding?

 

:popcorn:


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#3
Danny Olsson

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what's the noise like with those smaller fans? and what sort of temps do you get when encoding?

 

 

 

Thanks.

 

It's quiet.  I can barely hear them on the couch with no sound on and running about 1200-1400RPM.  If anything is on, I can't hear them at all, the disk drives are loud.  

 

Temps, I'm getting lows at 31°C and streaming with 2 disks running the max has been 55°C. 


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#4
terry1966

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thanks. :spoton:

 

:popcorn:


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